Will resume his former post in November
Stephen Censky will leave the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to return to the American Soybean Association (ASA) as CEO.
After serving as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture since October 2017, Censky, who led the ASA for 21 years is returning to the helm of the grower group.
Censky will come on board November 9 and resumes his post after the June departure of Ryan Findlay, who is credited with helping the organization restructure internally and establish an independent government affairs office in Washington, D.C.
“There is no doubt that I personally, as well as the whole USDA family, will miss Steve’s experience, preparedness, and steady leadership,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “During his tenure as Deputy Secretary, we accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time even in the face of serious challenges in American agriculture. Steve’s roots are in agriculture and he is one of the best and most professional public servants America has.”
“It has been a true honor to serve my country on behalf of American agriculture. These past few years have seen tremendous developments, and I am humbled to have served a role in implementing a farm bill, launching the USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda, supporting America’s farmers against trade retaliation, and now assisting farmers and ranchers and feeding families affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” Censky said. “It is a privilege to return to ASA and represent our nation’s soybean growers. ASA is in many ways home, and I’m excited about working with both new and familiar faces in St. Louis and D.C. and building on the great changes accomplished since I was last there.”
Censky previously served at USDA before ASA in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, including as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. The Minnesotan, who grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, helped establish soybeans as the leader in American agricultural exports while with ASA. In addition to foreign market expansion during his tenure, use of soy in biodiesel and bio-based products grew into significant markets, soybeans became a program crop under the Farm Bill, and ASA’s long-term foreign development arm, the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), helped build soy demand in emerging markets.